Ranting from Zanthan Gardens


Zanthan Gardens

On this balmy Austin afternoon, a faction of the Spring Flingers have gathered at Melissa’s garden for a brief respite. We’ve toured the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center:

Mr. McGregor’s Daughter/Barbara at the LBJ Center

We listened to a great talk by Tom Spencer/Soul of the Garden. We shopped at the Natural Gardener:


We toured a fabulous private garden—James David’s. He is an award-winning landscape designer and you can see why:


The problem? There’s nothing to rant about! My feet hurt just a bit, and I probably should not have bought a rather expensive San Diego Hat Co. chapeau at the garden store, but truth is, these events have been practically perfectly organized by our Austin hosts.

So far the observation that rises to the top amidst a whirl of impressions is how people’s personalities really are not like their blogs. And that, at least at this time of year, Texas seems like the ideal place to garden.

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regular radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world, and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at yahoo.com


  1. I loved James David’s garden. Too bad you can’t tell from the picture that the center “seam” down the middle of the steps was a trickle of water running from the rainwater cistern all the way to the pond below. However, I am glad that you can’t tell from the picture that I was eating a messy pastry and getting powdered sugar all over my face. 🙂

  2. It’s no big mystery. A writer’s writing personality may be totally unlike your impression of them face to face. You have to develop a voice when you’re writing but that’s often not at all evident when you meet face to face, and interact over meals and tours as we did.

    Also, we all agreed that we would be visiting each other’s blogs with a different attitude now that we’ve met.

    Sorry I don’t have any more personal observations that this–that will have to wait until I meet YOU all face to face. then maybe I’ll get into some of the finer points!

  3. Huh. I guess I didn’t think about it that way, since I’m not so much of a professional writer. I just kind of write like I speak. But that makes sense. 🙂

  4. Kim, at least as I see it, you’re still a writer, whether you consider yourself a professional or not. (You write a lot!) And I’m willing to bet you have developed a different writing voice, however subtle.

  5. Hmmm… your words make sense, so maybe that’s so. I guess if I ever make it up to Buffalo for your Garden Walk, or if you make it down here for the next Cleveland Botanical Garden show, you’ll have to let me know what the differences are! 🙂

  6. Okay, my sweater is really bright – now I understand why I ended up in people’s photos. It was wonderful to meet & talk with you. Those Austin bloggers really know how to show visitors a good time.

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